“He demonstrated this power in the Messiah by raising Him from the dead and seating Him at His right hand in the heavens — far above every ruler and authority, power and dominion, and every title given, not only in this age but also in the one to come.” (Ephesians 1:20-21, HCSB)

Our nation is getting ready to celebrate Independence Day. We, as Christians, have our citizenship first in heaven (Philippians 3:20), and so rather need to declare our Dependence on the God of the universe. A number of years ago I heard a sermon by Pastor Jeff Halsted, then at Indian River Baptist Church, in which he read his “Declaration of Dependence.” I loved it then, and years later asked for permission to reuse it in a Sunday School class I was teaching in Ephesians. I think it is still appropriate today.

“When in the course of human history, it becomes necessary for one people to humbly acknowledge their complete dependence upon the One True Living God for their existence, salvation, and every other conceivable aspect of life, it is good that they should declare the causes which impel them to such dependence herein articulated.

“We hold these truths to be revealed by our gracious triune God through his written Word, the Holy Scriptures and the Living Word, Jesus the Christ; that all men, since the Fall, are equally sinful, that is depraved and alienated from God with no hope in themselves of attaining eternal Life, Liberty, or Happiness. The only hope for attaining these most desirable gifts may be found in the gracious love of a Heavenly Father Who sent his Son, Jesus the Christ, so that by God’s grace alone through faith alone in the Person and Work of Jesus Christ alone we might indeed be given eternal life, liberty and happiness according to the good pleasure of the Father’s will. The Story of the gracious triune God of Creation and Redemption is a Story of repeated mercies and acts of grace, all having in direct object the glorifying of God’s name through the establishment of a reconciliation between Himself and those who are called and believe in the Person and Work of Jesus Christ alone for their deliverance for all eternity.”

From Dr Jeff Halsted, (now) Pastor, Calvary Baptist Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan

We are dependent on a God Who has shown us His power (Ephesians 1, verse 20)

  • By raising Jesus from the dead (Acts 2:24)
  • By seating Jesus at His right hand in the heavens (Mark 16:19, Acts 2:33,
    1 Peter 3:22)

We are dependent on a Messiah who (Ephesians 1, verse 21)

  • is above every ruler and authority (1 Corinthians 15:24, Ephesians 6:12, Ephesians 4:10, Colossians 2:10, John 3:31, Romans 13:1, 1 Peter 3:22)
  • has a Name above every name and title given (Philippians 2:9-10, Hebrews 1:4)

We are dependent on Christ as His church (Ephesians 1, verses 22-23)

  • He has everything under His feet (Psalm 8:6, 1 Corinthians 15:27)
  • He is Head over all things of His church (Colossians 2:9-10, Ephesians 5:23, Colossians 1:18, 2:19)
  • He is immanent – that is, He fills His body, the church (Colossians 2:9-10)

Because we are dependent, we can have victory

  • Victory over the world(James 4;3, Romans 12:1-2, 2 Corinthians 5:17)
  • Victory over the flesh – the nature of sinful man untouched by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9-11, Galatians 5:16)
  • Victory over the devil (James 4:7)
 

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